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Child in the Farmhouse


A couple of years back, my parents and I were planning our annual family holiday to Brittany, France. Usually, we booked the gites through reputable brochures and suchlike. However, this one summer, we decided to try finding a gite on the Internet.

We soon stumbled across a rather lovely looking farmhouse in the south of Brittany. It was everything we were after. Rustic looking, but all mod cons, large garden, in the centre of a village - not far from a main town or the beach. The owner's contact details were on the web site and so we gave him a ring. He seemed like a genuine nice guy and was pleased to offer us the farmhouse for our two week holiday.

So off we went. Happy and joyous, and thoroughly looking forward to our holiday. It's about day's drive to Brittany from our house in England, and so by the time we reached the village, the sun was setting and we were all pretty knackered. We drove through the village slowly, following the owner's directions. The farmhouse was meant to be right at the end of the village and so, we kept driving, past a school... Some ramshackle farm buildings... A few houses... And then suddenly, we were on the road again... Driving past fields. We turned around, driving back, certain we had missed a turning or something, somewhere.

Then it hit us. Those ramshackle old farm buildings included our farmhouse gite.


We could not believe it at first. It had to be some kind of sick joke. But it wasn't. In the centre of some kind of courtyard, surrounded by crumbling sandstone buildings, sat the farmhouse. The moment we drove into the yard, an eerie feeling swept over us. None of us mentioned it until afterwards, but we all said that we each felt instinctively that we weren't welcome there. The courtyard was full of weeds, paint was peeling off the outside walls... The windows were open, and net curtains were blowing in the wind. Honeysuckle grew over and around the door and there was an melancholy coldness to the place. We wandered around into the backgarden, were fresh washing was on the line...and, wait for it... A live peacock was tethered to a post in a chicken wire cage!

Unnerved, but aware we were paying quite a lot for this holiday, we decided to look inside. The kitchen looked like something out of the dark ages. Cracked tiles and cobbles on the floor... An iron cooker... Cupboard doors hanging off their hinges. Then think of the darkest, dankest most disgusting shade of mulberry you can. That's what the walls were smothered in.

Upstairs, there were three bedrooms. The room with a double bed, the biggest, was the most normal looking of all of them, despite the uneven flooring, mussed up bedclothes strewn everywhere and broken glass across the floor. The room which would be mine was on a huge slant, and my "wardrobe" was a branch nailed outside the door behind a curtain.

But the worst was to come in the third bedroom.

A four poster bed was squashed into a tiny room, taking up the majority of the space. Its curtains, thick, dark velvet, were ripped and hanging off the rails around the bed. The moment I entered that room, I felt as if someone was watching me. You know the feeling you get when someone's reading over your shoulder? Like that.

We stared, dumbstruck at the sight before us, appalled that anyone could treat their house like this. But then, I glanced up at the wall, and saw a small painting hanging. It was of a countryside scene - but what really disturbed me was the figure in the painting. A little girl, dressed in a white frock stood, staring out. But what really got me going was that she was pointing at the bed.

After a quick family conference, we all decided that we couldn't... or rather wouldn't stay in that house. We tried going to a B'n'B, but after a few days of trying to salvage it, we went home, feeling as though our holiday had been ruined from the start.

I swear, to this day, that there was something really wrong with that painting, and that house. Nothing happened... No objects flew... No tapping on shoulders or anything like that, but something really did not want us there, and to this day, I get chills whenever I wonder about what might have happened if we had decided to stay in that house.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Forest, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

WelshmanTrezise (5 stories) (12 posts)
11 years ago (2013-01-09)
Great story and well told boyo! It is true most of breton countryside is like this, I am part breton and I have had similar experiances, tell me more if you ever go back please! And again nice job lad!
sillysarahlily (12 posts)
13 years ago (2010-12-28)
Maybe the little girl pointing was warning you not to stay as its haunted
soundofwhite (12 posts)
15 years ago (2009-11-04)
i feel bad for the peacock: (
U should of called like animal protection or something and got them investigated. And gone to the police that day for your money back. Or even taken photos;)
Forest (2 stories) (1 posts)
16 years ago (2008-02-24)
EDIT: Okay, when I posted this block of replies before, some of you requested to see the website where we booked the holiday /photos. I was fine with this, and originally linked to them, however due to personal circumstances I have taken them down. I hope this does not offend any of you in any way, because it truly is not intended as such.

Anyway, to post my replies again, along with some new ones...

...Wow! That's a helluva lot of comments - thanks so much! =D I've noticed that some of you are wondering what happened re: getting monies back and suchlike. In retrospect, perhaps I ought to have said this in the story as well, but ehh. Sadly, no money was actually returned. We consulted the owner on several occasions via telephone, both on the holiday and when we returned to England, and he was very apologetic, but nothing more. He even said to us "Well, what did you expect from an "authentic French farmhouse?" Well... Certainly not a decrepit building and false advertising, being that he had stayed in other "authentic French farmhouses" and they had been nothing short of lovely. In the end, he did say that he would be sending a cheque for £100 our way.

We're still waiting for that cheque...

As far as legal action goes...well, at the time it really didn't occur to us. Also, we have no actual evidence that would stand up in a court of the state of the house as we found it. Tying in with what Frawin asked here, it's probably worth noting that we did return to the house the next day, just to see if it looked better in the day - it did not. It did however have the hangings replaced in the "painting room", and all the bedclothes had been washed, ironed etc. So all in all, it was still very creepy in the day, but we think the owner had contacted the maid or something after we had rung him that morning, and given her a few choice phrases to clean up the house.

All in all, it's left us with a very bad taste in our mouths, and also, it did happen a few years back now. I'm not sure, even if we could, we'd want to kick up a fuss and bring it all up. The only real merit in trying to get legal action taken is that the property might be taken off the market and others spared our experiences.

Frawin : Well, I can assure you that it wasn't fiction heehee. Your idea of slipping into a timewarp does interest me though. I have no experience of doing so in any time in my life, nor do I know people who have. But nonetheless it interests me highly.

Bellissima : "Deliverance"...I haven't heard of that. Assuming it's a film? Hmm. Will have to check that out, thanks! The idea also of the owners running off when they saw us coming up the drive, amuses me. But so far as I am aware, the owner was still in England when we were there heehee. But you never know I suppose...

Whitebuffalo : Actually nope, it wasn't an advertised ghost town, nor anything like. It was just a quiet little village - nothing odd about it to speak of, save for this farmhouse. It would perhaps have made more sense if it *was* a ghost town lol!

KimSouthO: Thanks for the kind words, and yes, I'm heartily glad we trusted our guts rather than our pursestrings in this case. As far as the painting goes, I reckon it was either left with the house when the owner bought it (which is the uber-creepy option), or he bought it himself, which leaves me thinking "why?" and wondering about his sense of taste in art. As you said though, it does make me wonder about why, if he bought it himself, why it was pointing at the bed. I'm not above believing that, under a spirit's hand, an inanimate object can be made animate, or suchlike, thus there is always the possibility that the painting was an innocent country scene, and then figure of the girl was a spirit inhabiting the painting - the like of which I have heard of happening.

Mustang: Yeah, I have a gut feeling that if we had stayed, we would have probably met with something that would have been a lot worse than lost money. Scary really. I know that might come off as over dramatic, but that's honestly what I believe. Thanks for reading and commenting : )

Flutterofwings : O-O Really?! Crikey, I had no idea it could be translated as such. That certainly ups the Creepy Factor somewhat! Thanks for sharing.

Thanks again for all your replies! I loved reading them :D

mustang (5 stories) (749 posts)
16 years ago (2008-02-17)
Hi Forest. Sounds very creepy to say the least. If your family stayed you may have experienced something that you would have never forgotten for the rest of your lives. I hope you got your money back. Thanks for sharing.

Flutterofwings (13 stories) (428 posts)
16 years ago (2008-02-13)
Seen the pics, I would probably went with my gut feelings and not stayed there either. But what strikes me is the name of the place "La Haute Houssais" To me the word Haute means Haunted, it would of made me stay away from that place.
FRAWIN (guest)
16 years ago (2008-02-13)
Thank you Forest for helping me out of my quandry. I now see that this is a beautiful and well written True Story.
I didn't really believe you slipped into a time warp- it's just I hate having just two options 😊.
This is just me but I believe that I would go back -just to see if anything would happen.
Take Care and God Bless.

Joie (1 stories) (39 posts)
16 years ago (2008-02-13)
I would have stayed in it, but that's just my style! It sounded lovely, actually. Do you know the potential there? To me, if you are going on holiday you should want to experience something other than what you are used to, and this sounds just like it. I'm sorry it didn't turn out the way you wanted it to- and that you didn't get any money back, but the experience must be remarkable. I wish you would have stayed so that we would have known exactly what was going on with that little girl!
FRAWIN (guest)
16 years ago (2008-02-12)
Hello Forest,
Thank you for a very interesting and well written story. However it has left me in a quandry. The best I can figure one of three things has happened.
1.You got conned and swift legal action should be taken.
2.You slipped into some sort of "time warp",either to the past or future, hence the difference in the condition of the house.
3.You presented us with a beautiful and well written piece of fiction.
Please help me out of my quandry as I dislike walking around confused 😕.Take Care and God Bless.

Bellissima (12 stories) (792 posts)
16 years ago (2008-02-12)
Hi Forest. This house sounds like something out of 'Deliverance'! People were actually living there? What did they do, vacate when they saw you coming up the driveway? Yuck! The picture sounds especially creepy in a setting like that, add the feelings you all had when you arrived and it sounds like a good reason for moving your holiday elsewhere. Sometimes your gut feeling is a good indicator of things to come, I'm glad you left when you did. You might be writing a different story if you'd stayed. I enjoyed your story.
whitebuffalo (guest)
16 years ago (2008-02-12)
Hello Forest,
I am confused. Was this an advertised ghost town? By the description, it almost sounds as if the entire town was run down and in bad needs of repair. It brings to mind the brochures that advertise, showing the "before" photos so that you know what the town looked like in it's hay-day.
I can see why you all had an uneasy feeling. For one, it was nothing like what you had been assured, and it does not sound as if it even appeared safe. In short, the story reminded me of the comedy Haunted Honeymoon, or something like that title. The only real difference, was that the honeymooners stayed, and one ended up staying permanently.
I do hope that all monies were refunded fully and with a smile.
Thank you for the story, it was very descriptive.
BellaMorte (4 stories) (19 posts)
16 years ago (2008-02-11)
Can you provide a link to this website you are talking about? I would love to see the place you guys ended up at.
bogienova (10 stories) (38 posts)
16 years ago (2008-02-11)
I agree with Tonith. That website cheated you out of a holiday! Seek legal counsel if you haven't already... At least you could get your money back 😊
Tonith (1136 posts)
16 years ago (2008-02-11)
Someone would have been hearing from my lawyer. That's out and out fraud.
Ohiowatha (11 stories) (415 posts)
16 years ago (2008-02-11)
I don't understand. What did your contact say when you told him that the photos of the place you booked did not add-up to the actual place? I mean, someone is responsible for charging you for something you didn't receive. How was this matter resolved? You didn't just pay him and not use it, did you?

Just curious. Thanks for sharing this very unique story.
KimSouthO (27 stories) (1960 posts)
16 years ago (2008-02-11)
I believe trusting your instincts was a blessing, and I am sorry to hear it ruined your holiday. From the sounds of things, the holiday would probably been far worse had your family stayed.

Generally, from my experience, when people leave a place, like a farm house, they would take paintings, portaits and pictures with them. I would agree, the picture apparently posed some significance, and why pointing at the bed? Even if in the picture she was ppointing to something else, why face it to pointing at the bed?

Thank you for sharing your story, I look forward to hearing more!
God Bless!
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
16 years ago (2008-02-11)
Welcome to the site Forest. Great story, beautifully written. To be honest your description of the farmhouse alone was enough to give me chills! As for the painting... That was even scarier. Since you all got a nasty feeling about the place(no wonder why!) it was a good thing you left. Who knows what might have happened had you stayed!
Looking forward to your next story 😊

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